Over 100,000 Tulips for Festival of Flowers

More than 100,000 tulips will bloom across Biltmore in April, setting the stage for a most welcome mountain springtime.

Biltmore’s Festival of Flowers celebrates its 26th year from April 2 to May 15, 2011. The estate-wide event celebrates the beauty of George Vanderbilt’s 8,000-acre property and its original design by Frederick Law Olmsted, father of American landscape architecture.

Biltmore’s gardens, Olmsted’s final and most grand project, are in their 121st year, and continue to mature and become more beautiful as time passes, says The Biltmore Company.

[ Also Read: Biltmore Plans to Add More Fun to Christmas ]

A meadow of white, purple, pink, yellow and red tulips will welcome guests at the estate’s entrance. Tulips in the Walled Garden will shine in hues of purple, orange, yellow and white.

Mid-festival will feature lavender shades of alyssum, orange snapdragons, poppies, dianthus and digitalis for a rainbow-colored finish in the Walled Garden.

[ Also Read: Over 10,000 Roses for the Legend of Camelot ]

George and Edith Vanderbilts’ world travels inspire the festival’s theme this year, with references of their journeys amid floral displays and other decorative elements throughout Biltmore House and the estate. Potted plants arranged in the shape of a compass will surround the center fountain in the Winter Garden in Biltmore House.

Additional Festival of Flowers activities will include live music daily in the Conservatory and Winter Garden; an “Ask a Gardener” station featuring Biltmore’s horticulture experts answering guest questions; and an art show at Deerpark.

[ Also Read: Look, How Big is Big for a Plant ]

Daily seminars will be held in A Gardener’s Place in the Conservatory: “Culinary Herbs and Edible Flowers,” 1 p.m.; “A Pot for Every Plant,” 2 p.m.; and “Celebrate Spring with Wreaths,” 3 p.m.

Festival of Flowers coincides with the estate’s annual Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday, April 24, on the front lawn of Biltmore House. Hunts will be at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.  You can enjoy children’s music and stories, magic shows, games and take photos with the Easter Rabbit.

Activities at Antler Hill Village will include music at the Barn, on the Village Green and a Grape Stomp at the Winery from 2 to 5 p.m.

Located in Asheville, N.C., Biltmore was the vision of George W. Vanderbilt.

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Rakesh Raman